Thursday, December 11, 2014

26. Digital Library Initiatives in UK

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं -

26. Digital Library Initiatives in UK

P- 01. Digital Libraries*

By :Jagdish Arora, Paper Coordinator

1. Introduction

The invent of Internet and World Wide Web play a vital role in world-wide distribution of digital information in faster and smarter way. Intensive research has been done on digital library during the past two decades all over the world. At the beginning, the research concentrated on technology and content not on users and usage, focused of research in recent years has shifted to content usage, content format, access management and measuring impact of digital library on the society. With digital library projects initiated in USA through Digital Library Initiative -I in 1994, other countries also started focusing on development of digital libraries in their respective countries. The UK’s eLib: Electronic Library Programme was started in 1994 based on Follet report published in 1993 with financial support of £15 million for the period of three years. The funding was made available jointly by four UK higher education funding bodies, namely the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and Department of Education for Northern Ireland [1]. In just a handful of years, an enormous amount of richly detailed and flexible digital material has been amassed in the UK as technology has expanded to make it possible: a conservative estimate suggests £130 million of public money has been spent on the creation of digital content since the mid-1990s [2].  In this module you will study about the digital library initiative in UK, role of funding agencies, major digital library projects and their achievements.

2.1 ELINAR (Electronic Library Information Online Retrieval)

The ELINAR project was carried out based on existing digital library research projects in USA such as CORE, MERCURY and other research on Internet applications and services such as WWW, WAIS and GOPHER. The ELINAR project was started in 1993 with the financial support of De Montfort University, the British Library and IBM UK [1]. The main aim of this project was to archive course materials such as books, journals, course materials, reading lists, question papers, multimedia learning objects in the field of business and computer science and its delivery to the undergraduate student via personal computer and work stations. Near about 35,000 pages of teaching and learning materials was digitised during the pilot project. The research focus of this project was user study, copyright management, access control and usage statistics. Two prototypes were developed under the project, i.e. i) Web interface for general user; and ii) electronic library user interface (ELVIS) for visually impaired student.

3.1 The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) is one of the major funding agencies and that promote research, technology development activity in the higher education sector in UK since 1993. The major objective of JISC is to help and facilitate higher education institution to use information and communication technology (ICT) through funding and advisory services [4]. The JISC is constantly providing support to various innovative digitisation programme and project to strengthen the higher education and further education in UK. The Electronic Library Programme (eLib) was launched in 1994 with the financial support of JISC along with UK Higher Education funding bodies and the focus area were digitisation of rare books, journals, images and electronic resources access management. The JISC granted £ 22 million through digitisation programme from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and Wales during 2004 to 2009 in two phases. The first phase took place during 2004 to 2007 with equally ambitious six projects. The second phase spread through 16 projects and more than 60 organisations from educational and other sectors participated, including the British Film Institute, the National Archive, the BBC, ITN, the British Library, the National Library of Wales and the Bodleian Library, alongside nearly 30 universities. The project reflected the historical and societal development in UK since the 17th century from cabinet paper to First World War poetry and radio news to PhD theses in a wide range of media including sound, maps, newspapers, pamphlets and theses.

3.2 UK Office for Library and Information Networking (UKOLN)

The Centre for Catalogue Research was established in 1977 by the British Library R&D department to look after the catalogues and bibliographic data. In 1989, UK Office for Library and Information Networking established after a grant was made by the British Library Research and Development Department (BLRDD). The UKOLN: The UK Office for Library and Information Networking become an independent centre in 1992, financially supported by BLRDD and JISC [5]. The UKOLN is a centre of expertise in digital information management, providing advices and services to the library, information, education community across UK. The major focus area was metadata, interoperability, building innovative system and services based on Web technologies. 

4.1 eLib: Electornic Libraries Programme (eLib)

The Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) was an initiative of the Higher Education Funding Councils’ Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), established to implement the IT recommendations of the Follett Report by addressing the issue of change within higher education libraries. The eLib Programme consisted of three phases. Phases 1 and 2 together formed a successful £ 15 million programme over a period of three years from 1994 to 1997. The major focus area of eLib phase 1 and 2 were electronic delivery, digitisation of journals and books, on-demand publication of e-journals and e-books, e-resources access management and archive e-print. Based on the success of eLib 1 & 2, in the year 1998 eLib Phase 3 was started, more than 20 institutions participated and the main objective of this project was to integrate the previously successful project under eLib. The major focus area was hybrid libraries, large scale resource discovery, digital preservation and turning the early project into service.
Table 1. List of eLib project Phase-3 and their focus area [1]
Programme Areas
Project Name
Major Focus Area
Hybrid libraries
These projects were focused on the higher education sector dealing with common problems like;
  • Authentication
  • User profiles
  • Interface design
  • Management of digitization
  • Interconnection of database
  • Staff development.
Large Scale Resource Discovery (Clumps)
Co-operative Academic Information Retrieval Network for Scotland
M25 Link
Music Libraries Online
Though these projects covered different geographical areas and subjects, they explored the possibility of virtual union catalogues using standards like Z39.50.
CURL Exemplars in Digital Archives
This project concentrated on developing guidelines for preserving different types of materials, policies for collection management, and recommendations for standards and techniques.
The turning of early projects into services
Higher Education Resources On-Demand (HERON)
Electronic Publishing Resource Services (EPRESS)
HERON offered a national service to the UK academic community for copyright clearance, digitization and delivery of book extracts and journal articles.
EPRESS provides tools, knowledge and information to help people publish electronic journals.

4.2 The Resource Discovery Network (RDN)

The Resource Discovery Network (RDN) was launched in 1999, as a JISC-funded service, dedicated to providing effective access to high quality Internet resources for the learning, teaching and research. The RDN builds upon the foundations of the Electronic Libraries Programme (e-Lib) and more specifically the Access to Networked Resources (ANR) component of that programme set up during 1995, which sought to identify opportunities and solutions to the growing challenges of resource discovery in the emerging network environment [6]. The RDN catalogues provided links to web sites containing a wide range of educational materials, including electronic books, electronic journals, bibliographies, learning and teaching resources. The resources were selected by subject experts for the respective subjects based on the analysis of quality, usability and reliability. Apart from JISC, the RDN received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). More than 70 educational institutions participated in this project to collect and share resources in the RDN service.

The following RDN hubs were established based in various universities around Britain [4]:
  • BIOME (Medicine and Life Sciences) was led by the University of Nottingham
  • Humbul (Humanities) was led by the University of Oxford
  • EMC (Engineering, Mathematics and Computers) was led by Heriot-Watt University
  • PSIgate (Physical Sciences) was led by CALIM, the Consortium of Academic Libraries In Manchester
  • SOSIG (Social Sciences, Business and Law) was led by the University of Bristol

An interdisciplinary search service called Resource Finder was developed by RDN, based on OAI-PMH protocol for metadata harvesting, cross-searching of metadata from the RDN hubs.
4.2.1 Intute (

Intute was the new face of the Resource Discovery Network (RDN) [7]. Tremendous changes happened in the technology and trends in the information environment such as web 2.0, information age to participation age, semantic web, digital and virtual library environment. One of the biggest challenge was the limitation of search engine and cross searching across institutional repositories. Millions of web resource were available and it was difficult to find appropriate resources for learning and research. In response to the user need, Intute was launched in 2006 by a consortium of seven universities in UK including, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, Heriot-Watt University, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford and Mimas at the University of Manchester as the hosting partner with financial support from JISC. The data collected from the eight Hubs of RDN service were integrated in to one for searching and improved browsing experience. Intute was a free online service that help the faculty, researcher and student to discover quality Internet resources for their research and learning. Intute resources were categorised in to four subject groups such as Science, Engineering and Technology, Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Health and Life Sciences. Intute actively collaborated with other projects such as the Higher Education Academy Resource Catalogue Integration, INFORMS at University of Huddersfield, ePrint UK, eBank UK and Internet Detective to enhance it’s services. Value added services were incorporated in Intute including, the virtual training suite, hot topics, limelight, behind the headlines and MyIntute, etc. Since July, 2011, Intute closed all the services due to the withdrawal of funding from JISC. 

4.3 JISC IE Metadata Schema Registry

The JISC IE Metadata Schema Registry (IEMSR) project was funded by JISC through its Shared Services Programme that ran between 2004 and 2010 in four phases. The IEMSR project developed a metadata schema registry as a pilot shared service within the JISC Information Environment. Metadata schema registries enable the publisher to navigate and share information about metadata. Metadata within the JISC IE was based largely on two key standards: i.e., Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (DCMES) and the IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM) standard. The IEMSR provided the JISC IE with a single point of referral for recommended schemas. It allowed various initiatives within the JISC IE to publish application profiles of these standards in a common registry, making them available to others. This project helped to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, and supported sharing of common approaches. The Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards (CETIS) and the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) were major contributor to this project in various areas [9].

4.4 eBank UK (

eBank UK was a JISC-funded project which was a part of the Semantic  Grid Programme and Autonomic Computing Programme that ran between 2003 and 2007 in three phases.  The UKOLN, University of Bath, University of Southampton and the PSIgate- Physical Sciences Information Gateway at the University of Manchester were the major project partners of this project [10]. The main objective of this project was to provide an institutional repository to support, manage and publicise metadata associated with crystallography data. The eBank project also investigated how aggregator services could link data provided by grid-enabled projects to publications in academic repositories. eBank UK brought together chemists, digital librarians and computer scientists in an interdisciplinary collaboration which explored the potential for integrating research datasets into digital libraries by using technologies such as the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) [11].

The eBank UK project harvested metadata about research data from e-data repository. Metadata records harvested from e-data repositories was stored in the central database alongside the e-print metadata records gathered as part of the ePrints UK project. An OAI-PMH repository was set up at the University of Southampton. The repository extended the use of Open Archives to the dissemination of experimental research data. It was specialized to support the deposition of data from crystallographic experiments. eBank UK developed a demonstrator that uses the OAI-PMH to aggregate metadata, and supports discovery both of datasets and related publications.  
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4.5 Focus on Access to Institutional Resources (FAIR)

The Focus on Access to Institutional Resources (FAIR) Programme was launched by JISC in 2002, with an aim to collect digital resources produced from the academic institution in UK and share them with the academic community for wider access and maximise the usage of electronic resources. Further Education and Higher Education institution in UK rapidly produced large no. of digital resources including, journal articles, research reports, electronic theses and dissertations, images, sound recordings, databases, etc. The FAIR Programme examined how these resources could be effectively shared for use by others in the community, increasing their value and usefulness. While technical mechanisms through which such sharing could take place, FAIR has gathered experience and knowledge on the set-up of repositories, on the design of user interfaces, and on the development and configuration of software enabling access to shared resources and the management of these materials. Many of the systems used within FAIR and in related initiatives around the world are open source, offering a controllable and low-cost solution to sharing institutional resources. Various projects funded under the Programme covered a wide variety of assets. The FAIR project was grouped into three major clusters such as e-print & e-theses cluster, museum and image cluster and portal cluster. The FAIR projects and their key achievements are listed in the table given below [13];
 a. E-prints and e-theses – a cluster of projects examined the deposit and disclosure of research outputs, primarily e-print articles and research theses in digital form.
  • Experience with different repository software packages
  • Advocacy materials and associated user documentation to support the development of an institutional repository
  • Use of institutional repository content to support a subject-based repository (ERPAnet) and an open access e-journal (JeLit)
Electronic Theses
  • A UK Metadata Core Set for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), in collaboration with DAEDALUS and Theses Alive!
  • ETD events
  • Guidance documentation and advice on implementing ETDs
ePrints UK
  • A live service providing access to harvested e-print records
  • Guidance on the structuring of metadata for e-prints
  • Reports on the environment in which institutional repositories are being implemented
  • Experience of making harvested data available itself for harvesting
  • Experience of making metadata available for harvesting without  full implementation of the OAI protocol
  • Experience of providing access to multiple digital asset types
  • Advocacy materials on IPR and copyright for e-prints
  • Publisher copyright policy database (now hosted by SHERPA)
  • RoMEO rights solution, proposing a methodology for incorporating rights statements in the metadata that is harvested
  • Installed institutional repositories across 20 universities and the British Library
  • Institutional repository advocacy materials (including repository costing) and user documentation
  • Studies into the preservation of e-prints
  • Work to enhance the EPrints software package
  • Investigation of issues relating to e-print metadata quality
  • Experience of addressing multidisciplinary requirements for an institutional repository
Theses Alive
  • JISC Legal paper on legal issues surrounding ETDs
  • Experience in the use of DSpace
  • TAPIR, a DSpace plug-in to facilitate the submission of ETDs
 b. Museums and Images – a cluster of projects examined the role of the deposit and disclosure of museum objects, images and arts & humanities datasets to support increased dissemination, awareness and preservation of theses.
Accessing the Virtual Museum
  • Explore issues on metadata required for harvesting
  • Subject classification of resources to be harvested
  • Virtual handling investigations to support remote access to museum collections
BioMed Image Archive
  • Legal and ethical requirements for disclosing images
  • Open source repository software development for image collections
  • Review criteria, deposit criteria, licence agreement and terms and conditions for image collections
Harvesting the Fitzwilliam Museum
  • The association of images with metadata for harvesting
  • Explore issues on images and harvesting
  • Experience in the use of the Adlib collection management system for disclosing content
Hybrid Archives
  • Hybrid Archives model and implementation plan
  • Hybrid Archives deposit licence
  • Explore issues on cross-domain searching of harvested data

  1. c. Portals – these projects examined the provision of access to externally sourced content alongside internally surfaced assets.
FAIR Enough
  • Experience of the IPR and cultural aspects of sharing materials within FE
  • Events encouraging use of external resources
  • Embedding of external resources alongside local information and services in a variety of virtual learning environment (VLE) systems
  • Studies on user requirements for institutional portals
  • Card sort survey toolkit for investigation of user requirements
  • Studies on the management and presentation of information within an institutional portal

4.6 ePrints UK (

The e-Print UK was a national service launched as the part of the FAIR project in 2002 with financial support from JISC. The aim of the project was to provide a single point access to e-print repository harvested from Further Education and Higher Education institutions in UK. The project was built based on the experience gathered from the RDN project, in which open archive protocol for metadata harvesting technique was implemented to harvest metadata and aggregated search facility created. The ePrints UK project worked closely with other projects in this area, including HaIRST, which provides ePrints UK with a single point of access to metadata repositories of near about 13 Scottish institutions, CURL's SHERPA project, which aimed to support the development of a number of institutional e-print archives in the UK, and RoMEO, which explored intellectual property issues surrounding institutional ePrints archives [14]. 

4.7 British Library Digital Library Programme

The British Library is the national library of UK and the world largest library having collected around 150 million items including 14 million books, from several countries, in many languages and in many formats, both in print and digital [15]. The British Library’s digital library programmes aim to digitise its collection and provide digital information service for the research and learning activity. The digital collection and services to enhance the usage of library resource through electronic delivery of content to the remote users. The digital library collection was built from a number of existing historically important collection, including the 19th century newspapers, early English books (1475-1700), the 19th century book collections, medieval manuscripts, sound recordings and theses, etc. The British Library partnered with many national and international agencies for funding support such as JISC, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Cengage Learning, Brightsolid, Microsoft, Google, the BBC,  etc [16].   Some the important digitisation projects of British Library are described below;

4.7.1 Archival Sound Recordings  

The British Library Sound Archive has more than one million sound and video recordings, including early wax cylinders, taps, discs and digital media. The collection comes from all over the world and various ranges such as music, drama, literature, oral history and wildlife sounds [17]. The Archival Sound Recording phase 1 (ASR1) project funded by JISC under the Digitisation Programme from 2004 to 2006. The aim of the project was to digitise selected rare, used and fragile sound recording and provide access to the academic community and the common public in UK. The project digitised and delivered access to 12,000 audio recordings of about 3,900 hours including, oral history, traditional music, rare recordings, classical and popular music and educational materials. After the success of the ASR1, JISC extended the funding for the project Archival Sound Recording Phase 2 (ASR2) from 2007 to 2009. The project aimed to digitise additional selected 24,000 sound recordings and clear copyright for the purpose of teaching, learning and research activity in UK. One of the significant outputs of this project was METS schema an International standard for audio files. The project ASR1 and ASR2 were merged and rechristened as British Library Sounds and at present provide licensed access of more than 50,000 selected recordings to the Further Education and Higher Education in UK for academic purposes [18].
4.7.2 The 19th Century British Newspapers
The 19th Century British Newspapers was the public and private partnership project between British Library and leading content aggregator Cengage Learning, financially supported by JISC under the Digitisation Programme in two phases. The main aim of this project was to digitise three million pages of out-of-copyright UK printed materials published in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland during the 19th Century and overall goal of this project was to provide web based access of historic newspaper content to the Further and Higher Education Community [19]. In the first phase from 2004 to 2006, about 48 titles were selected by the editorial board containing two million pages to provide in depth view of the social, political and scientific development during the 19th Century. In the second phase from 2007 to 2009, about 22 titles were selected consisting of around one million pages. Importance was given to English regional newspapers in the views of political development in cities and downs. The archives provided free access to the Higher Education Community in UK through JISC license agreement till 31/07/2013. At present these resources are available for subscription through Cengage Learning Platform [20]. The collection focused on London national newspapers, English regional newspapers, local newspapers from Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and special titles on Victorian Radicalism and Chartism.
4.7.3 EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Services)
The Electronic Theses Online Services (EThOS) started in 2005, was another innovative project by JISC with the British Library was the lead organisation. Doctoral theses represent a special category of research writing and are the culmination of several years of intensive work. Traditionally difficult to access, theses remained underused, so modernising access to research theses has been on the Higher Education agenda for many years in UK [21]. The aims and objectives of the project were to develop a functional prototype to archive the electronic version of PhD theses produced from the Higher Education institutions in UK. The project enables the researchers and students to access the research output of UK and use it for learning and research activities. It will also enable HE institutions, in partnership with the British Library to promote and increase usage of their theses output. Other partner of this project was Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL), Cranfield University, University of Warwick, University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh, Robert Gordon University and University of Birmingham. In 2007, the JISC extended this project as EThOSnet, aimed with building a strong EThOS sponsorship network amongst the Higher Education institutions in UK and to transform the prototype into live project. Out of approximately 3,50,000 theses awarded from by 120 Higher Education institution in UK since 1800, around 1,20,000 theses have been digitised and made accessible to the higher education community through EThOS service [22]. 

4.8 BOPCRIS (British Official Publications Collaborative Reader Information Service)

The British Official Publications Collaborative Reader Information Service (BOPCRIS) was a digitisation project to digitise 18th, 19th and 20th Century Parliamentary Papers of UK. The project started to digitise Ford Collection of British Official Publication in 1995 by University of Southamton under the Specialised Research Collection in the Humanities Initiative [23]. The British Official Publications on 18th, 19th and 20th provide immense primary sources about the culture and development of British Empire. These resources including, text, image, handwritten notes, maps, bills, statistical report on an extensive topic such as social science, humanities, history of health science, technology development, history and political issues. The major objective of this project was to provide access of underutilised resources of parliamentary publication to the world academic community. During 2005 to 2007, JISC funded for this project under Higher Education Digitisation Services to integrate various digitisation projects, develop catalogue, index, search and browse interface. The digitised resources provided access to Higher Education and Further Education community in UK free-of-cost under JISC agreement. The project lead by Ford Collection of British Official Publication, Hartley Library and University of Southampton. The British Library provided advice to develop bibliographic database and index. More than 15 libraries contributed to this project as content developer and Institute of Learning and Research Technologies (ILRT), University of Bristol provided support to develop under lying web technology. Apart from JISC, Queen’s University also provided financial support under the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis [24].  More than one million publications were digitised and integrated with the University of Southamton Library OPAC to provide wider access. The technological output of this project includes robotic scanner, optical character recognition and large scale data storage, etc.

4.9 Medical Journals Back Files

The Medical Journal Back files was a collaborative project between the Wellcome Trust, the JISC, and the US National Library of Medicine (NLM). The objective of the project was to digitise historically important medical journal back files and provide online access to the academic community and the common public through Pub Med Central. Around 20 historically significant important journals were identified including, the Royal Society of Medicine (1809), the Biochemical Journal, Journal of Anatomy, Medical History, etc. [25]. The Open Access movement supported by JISC and Wellcome Trust by which, the participated publishers had agreed to supply the current versions of the journal articles to PubMed for archiving and made accessible after prescribed embargo period. New journal titles added to the PubMed to strengthen digital archive from various publishers, in return JISC and Wellcome Trust agreed for funding support to digitise the back files of newly added titles. From 2004 to 2007, about one million articles totalling two million pages were digitised and provided access to the research community through PubMed Central search interface [26]. XML based citation information was created for articles published before 1964 that did not have citation information and updated with PubMed Central.

4.10 Newsfilm Online

The production of digital content and archives has been increasing since last two decades. Newsfilm Online was another major digitisation project of JISC, aimed to digitise more than 50,000 video clips totalling 3,000 hours, which was produced during the 20th and 21st century in UK. It was a collaborative project and the major partner were the British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), Independent Television News (ITN) and Reuters. The video footages were from various categories including, television news, cinema news reels and press agency news feeds. Significant historical events were digitized, including the Crystal Palace fire (1936) to the first interview with Nelson Mandela (1961), from the battle of Newport Bridge (1975) to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales (1997) [27]. The Newsfilm video footages were available online to the Higher Education and Further Education community in UK for research and learning purpose freely till 31st July 2012 through JISC MediaHub as the part of JISC eCollection Services [28]. These resources provide visual reference to various subject area such history, arts, culture and language in UK since the 20th Century. In 2007, JISC commissioned the project entitled Enhancing Teaching and Learning with Digitised Resources to support and promote the use of Newsfilm resources, [29]. At present the Newsfilm items are hosted by Edinburgh Data and Information Access (EDIA) and access provide through subscription. 

4.11 A Digital Library of Core e‑Resources on Ireland (2007-2009)

Irish studies is an active and developing area of scholarship, but there was a lack of research resources in conventional format and less number in electronic format in the UK-based Universities. The main objectives of this project was to digitise the core Irish studies collection and provide access to the research scholar in British Isles. The lead institution was the Queen’s University of Belfast and other partner were the Linen Hall Library, the Robinson Library, the Royal Irish Academy, Corpus of Electronic Text (CELT) at University College Cork, University College Dublin, Arts and Humanities Data Service, JSTOR with financial supported by JISC [30]. The outcome of the project was digitisation of 100 journals, 205 monographs and 2,500 manuscript pages from the core Irish Studies collection of participating institutions. At present the collections are freely available to all the users within the British Isles through the McClay Library, Queen’s University, Belfast. The users outside the British Isles, can access this collection through JSTOR.  

4.12 Oxford Digital Library

Oxford University is internationally renowned for its scholarly library collection. The Bodleian Library having collection around 11 million items accumulated over a period of 400 years, is one of the oldest library in Europe and Britain and the main library of Oxford University [33]. The Oxford Digital Library (ODL) project is a core service of the Bodleian Libraries. The main objective of this project was to build a critical mass of digital materials from the existing collection, provide access to digital resources, develop and set standards for digital resources, etc. In 1999, the innovative project called the Early English Book Online Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP) was launched in collaboration with ProQuest, the University of Michigan with financial supported from JISC. The EEBO-TCP project took place in two phases during 1999 to 2014 and converted around 50,000 Early English Book into fully-searchable with TEI-complaint SGML/XML texts [34]. In 2004, the Oxford University joined with Google’s Library Partnership Project to digitize out-of-copyright book published in the 19th Century. Around 3,35,000 Bodleian Libraries books were digitized through Google book project and were made freely available to access in UK & USA and selected number of books are available outside UK and USA [35]. In 2013, the Bodleian Libraries collaborated with Vatican Library (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaicana) to digitize collection of Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts and Incunabula holdings available at both the libraries. Through this project 1.5 million pages will be digitized and will be made available freely to the users with in next two years [36] with financial support of Polonsky Foundation. 

4.13 The Cambridge Digital Library (

The Cambridge Digital Library project was established as a pilot project, which ran from 2010 to 2014 with the funding of £89 million from Dr Leonard Polonsky [31]. The Cambridge University developed technical infrastructure to digitise collection in the area of faith and science. The foundation of Faith Collection includes many religious traditions, particularly Judaism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. The foundation of science collection including works of Isaac Newton and his contemporaries, Newton collection, Charles Drawin, Lord kelvin and Adam Sedgwick, etc. The Cambridge library holds archives of famous Cavendish Laboratory and also the repository of the Royal Greenwich Observatory archives. The Newton Project at the University of Sussex received funds from JISC under the project called Windows on Genius. The JISC also sponsored for the collaborative project between the National Maritime Museum and Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University for Board of Longitude Collection. The Taylor-Schechter project funded by the Jewish Manuscript Preservation Society, the Friedberg Genizah Project Inc. and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK [32]. These projects archived huge amount collections in the field of science and technology, which was produced during the 18th century.

5. Summary

This module discussed various digital library initiatives in UK and role of the funding agencies and their continuous effort to develop digital library and promote digital library services for purpose of learning and research. Module elaborated on major digital library projects and their achievements such as ELINAR, eLib, FAIR. The British Library partnership with various funding agencies to digitise historically important and rare used collection including, the 19th Newspapers, archival sound recordings, electronic theses are also elaborated in this module. The Higher Education and Further Education Council in UK awarded grants of around £130 million since 1990 for various digitisation activity. This module also elaborated about RDN and Intute and their impact on the Higher Education in UK and all over the world. Electronic theses is the important primary sources of information, eBank UK, e-Prints UK and EThOS, major projects on digitising electronic theses are also discussed in this module. 

6. References / web links

  1. Chowdhury G G, Chowdhury Sudatta. (2003). Introduction to Digital Library, London, Facet Publication
  3. Nabil R. Adam … (ed.) (1995) McDigital Libraries: research and technology advances; selected papers / ADL 95 forum, USA, McLean, Verginia
  4. Digital Library in Education, Science and Culture: an analytical survey at
  6. Justine Kitchen & Simon Jennings (2000) The resource discovery network:, New Review of Information Networking, 6:1, 157-165, DOI: 10.1080/13614570009516959
  15. 2020 Vision Project: Size, Scope and Use of British Library Collections, Internal discussion paper, February 2010, British Library, UK; available at:
  19. King, Ed. "Digitisation of British Newspapers 1800-1900." 19th Century British Newspapers. Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning, 2007.
  21. Jill Russell. "EThOS: from Project to Service". April 2009, Ariadne Issue 59; Available at

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